The DSM 5 debate

DSMThe recent publication of DSM 5 has led to a storm of protest. In the US Thomas Insel, the director of the largest funding body for mental health research, the NIMH, joined the critics of DSM in saying that the categories lacked validity, they are ‘nothing more than constructs put together by committees of experts’.

Here in the UK The BPS Division of Clinical Psychology, along with many other organisations, has issued a position statement suggesting that ‘there is need to move away from psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, personality disorder and conduct disorder, which have significant conceptual and empirical limitations, and develop alternative approaches which recognise the centrality of the complex range of life experiences in the emergence of mental distress, and the personal impact of social and relational circumstances including trauma.’

It looks like DSM 5 has triggered a mass rejection of the dominant approach to treating mental disorder through the identification of a ‘disease’.

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